This article defines the historian's genre decision as an epistemological choice. I argue that this genre choice is between ‘reconstructionist’, ‘constructionist’, ‘deconstructionist’ or ‘postist’ orientations to the nature of history. The consequences of the historian's epistemic choice are then demonstrated in the forms of the history they produce. The conclusion is that historians do not discover the form and hence the meaning of the past. Rather they demonstrate how their epistemic assumption produces different forms of and meanings for (their) history.